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(EN BANC)[G.R. Nos. 146710-15. March 2, 2001]JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, petitioner, vs.

ANIANO DESIERTO, in his


capacity as Ombudsman, RAMON GONZALES, VOLUNTEERS AGAINST CRIME AND CORRUPTION, GRAFT FREE
PHILIPPINES FOUNDATION, INC., LEONARD DE VERA, DENNIS FUNA, ROMEO CAPULONG and ERNESTO B.
FRANCISCO, JR., respondent.
[G.R. No. 146738. March 2, 2001]; JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, petitioner, vs. GLORIA MACAPAGAL
ARROYO, respondent.-DECISION, PUNO, J.:
(NOTE: THE MARCH CASE IS THE REQUIRED CASE IN THE SYLLABUS BUT ALL THE HEARSAY EXPLANATIONS ARE IN THE RESOLUTION OF
THIS CASE BY THE SAME PONENTE- aka consolidated case [G.R. Nos. 146710-15. April 3, 2001] and [G.R. No. 146738. April 3, 2001]).. eeek
sneaky! SO I JUST MADE FOR BOTH. AKA I AM SORRY FOR THIS VERY LONG DIGEST. THE ORIG CASE IS LONG TOO.)

FACTS:
The primary question in this case revolves around the legitimacy of GMAs presidency as ERAP contends that he did not
resign and was only on LOA thus, is still the president.
In 1998, Joseph Estrada was elected President of the Philippines, while Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo was elected VicePresident. The president was accused with corruption, culminating in Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singsons accusations
that the president received millions of pesos from jueteng lords.
The Senate and the House of Representatives began early investigations regarding the accusation, while key sociopolitical figures like Cardinal Sin, former Presidents Aquino and Ramos, the vice president, senior advisers and cabinet
members called on the president to resign, and resigned from their cabinet posts themselves. Eventually, even Gen.
Angelo Reyes and other members of the AFP expressed withdrawal of support for ERAP.
The impeachment trial began on 7 December 2000, with 21 senator-judges presided over by Chief Justice HilarioDavide.
At a point when 11 senator-judges ruled against opening a second envelope of evidence showing the presidents P3.3
billion bank account under the name Jose Velarde, the public prosecutors resigned and a mass demonstration at EDSA
began.
4. CJ Davide granted Senator Raul Rocos motion to postpone the impeachment trial until the House of Representatives
resolved the lack of public prosecutors.
5. With the defection of more officials and of the army and police from the Estrada administration, the president attempted
to appease public sentiment by announcing a snap election and by allowing the second envelope to be opened. The
measures failed, and the calls for resignation strengthened.
6. On 20 January 2001, the president negotiated with representatives of the vice-president. News broke out that Chief
Justice Hilario Davide would administer the oath of presidency to the vice president at EDSA Shrine. Estrada issued two
statements - one stating reservations on the constitutionality of Arroyos presidency, and another stating that he is
incapable of dispensing his responsibilities as president, thus allowing Arroyo to be the acting president.
7. The Arroyo administration was met with acceptance by the different branches of government, by majority of the public,
and by the international community. The impeachment trial was closed, despite sentiments such as those of Senator
Defensor- Santiago that the impeachment court had failed to resolve the case, leaving open questions regarding Estradas
qualifications to run for other elected posts.
8. The Office of the Ombudsman proceeded to file a series of cases regarding the corruption of Estrada. Estrada filed a
motion compelling the Ombudsman to refrain from further proceedings until his term as president was over. He also filed a
petition to be confirmed as the lawful and incumbent president, temporarily unable to fulfill his duties, thus making Arroyo
an acting president only.
9. The Supreme Court ruled a) to inform the parties that they did not declare the Office of the President vacant on 20
January 2001, b) to prohibit either party from discussing in public the merits of the case while in its pendency, c) to enjoin
the Ombudsman from resolving pending criminal cases against Estrada for 30 days.
ISSUES IN THE ORIGINAL DECISION: (I will only discuss the topic in bold since its the only one related. Please refer to

the full case for the others)


I. Whether the petitions present a justiciable controversy.-No
II. (TOPICAL) Assuming that the petitions present a justiciable controversy, whether petitioner Estrada is a
President on leave while respondent Arroyo is an Acting President. - YES
III. Whether conviction in the impeachment proceedings is a condition precedent for the criminal prosecution of petitioner
Estrada. In the negative and on the assumption that petitioner is still president, whether he is immune from criminal
prosecution.-NO
IV. Whether the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should be enjoined on the ground of prejudicial publicity-NO
RATIO:
According to Section 8, Article VII of the Constitution: Sec. 8. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation
of the President, the Vice President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office,
or resignation of both the President and Vice President, the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, shall then acts as President until President or Vice President shall have been elected and qualified.

To be considered as a resignation, there must be an intent to resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of
relinquishment. The validity of a resignation is not governed by any formal requirement as to form. As long as the
resignation is clear, it must be given legal effect.
Here, Erap, did not write any formal letter of resignation before he evacuated Malacaang Palace in the Afternoon of
January 20, 2001 after the oath-taking of GMA. Consequently, WON Erap resigned has to be determined from his acts
and omissions before, during and after January 20, 2001 or by the totality of prior, contemporaneous and posterior
facts and circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance on the issue. (Using this test, he did resign)

(THIS IS THE PART RELATED TO HEARSAY IN THE DECISION) The court looked at Final Days of Joseph Ejercito
Estrada, the diary of Exec. Sec. Angara serialized in the Philippine Daily Inquirer was used as an authoritative window on
the state of mind of the petitioner.
1. The diary detailed that on January 20, the Erap decided to call for a snap presidential election and stressed he
would not be a candidate.-> shows his intent to give up the presidency
2. The diary also stated that Estrada expressed no objections to the plans for a graceful and dignified exit.-> To the
SC, this was proof that petitioner had reconciled himself to the reality that he had to resign.
3. The diary talked about negotiations for a for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power was limited to 3 points, ( 1)
the transition period of five days after the petitioners resignation; (2) the guarantee of the safety of the petitioner
and his family, and (3) the agreement to open the second envelope to vindicate the name of the petitioner ->which
did not include the resignation of petitioner because at this time, this was not a disputed point.
4. Angaras diary quotes Estrada saying, Pagod na pagod na ako. Ayoko na masyado nang masakit. Pagod na
ako sa red tape, bureaucracy, intriga.-> To the SC, this is high grade evidence that the petitioner has resigned.
The intent to resign is clear when he said x x x Ayoko na masyado nang masakit. Ayoko na are words of
resignation.
5. During this second round of negotiation, the resignation of the petitioner was again treated as a given fact. The
only unsettled points at that time were the measures to be undertaken by the parties during and after the
transition period.
6. It was clear in the negotiations that he was to sign a statement attesting to his resignation after which, GMA will
then take her oath.
7. But then all of the negotiations were thwarted when Erap learned that GMA was going to take her oath already
despite not signing the document yet. (ANO BA MARE ANG LABO MO. All you had to do was wait)
8. So, ERAP just decided to release the following statement as per Ronie Punos advice:

At twelve oclock noon today, Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath as President of the Republic of the Philippines. While along with
many other legal minds of our country, I have strong and serious doubts about the legality and constitutionality of her proclamation as president, I do not
wish to be a factor that will prevent the restoration of unity and order in our civil society.
It is for this reason that I now leave Malacaang Palace, the seat of the presidency of this country, for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing
process of our nation. I leave the Palace of our people with gratitude for the opportunities given to me for service to our people. I will not shrik from any
future challenges that may come ahead in the same service of our country.xxx

The resignation of the petitioner was confirmed by his leaving Malacaang. In the press release containing his final
statement, (1) he acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President of the Republic albeit with the reservation
about its legality; (2) he emphasized he was leaving the Palace, the seat of the presidency, for the sake of peace and in
order to begin the healing process of our nation. He did not say he was leaving the Palace due to any kind of inability and
that he was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability disappears; (3) he expressed his gratitude to the
people for the opportunity to serve them. Without doubt, he was referring to the past opportunity given him to serve the
people as President; (4) he assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in the same
service of our country. Petitioners reference is to a future challenge after occupying the office of the president which he
has given up; and (5) he called on his supporters to join him in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of
reconciliation and solidarity. Certainly, the national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity could not be attained if he did not
give up the presidency. The press release was petitioners valedictory, his final act of farewell. His presidency is now in
the past tense.
It is, however, urged that the petitioner did not resign but only took a temporary leave of absence due to his inability to
govern and cites the letter transmitted to the Senate President and House Speaker as support. However, the mysterious
letter cannot negate the resignation of the petitioner. Petitioners resignation from the presidency cannot be the subject of
a changing caprice nor of a whimsical will especially if the resignation is the result of his repudiation by the people.
- Petitioner also argues that he could not resign as a matter of law. He relies on section 12 of RA No. 3019, otherwise
known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which states that no public officer shall be allowed to resign or retire
pending an investigation, criminal or administrative, or pending a prosecution against him, for any offense under this Act or
under the provisions of the RPC on bribery.
The intent of the law ought to be obvious. It is to prevent the act of resignation or retirement from being used by a public
official as a protective shield to stop the investigation of a pending criminal or administrative case against him and to
prevent his prosecution under the Anti-Graft Law or prosecution for bribery under the Revised Penal Code. To be sure, no
person can be compelled to render service for that would be a violation of his constitutional right. A public official has the
right not to serve if he really wants to retire or resign. Nevertheless, if at the time he resigns or retires, a public official is
facing administrative or criminal investigation or prosecution, such resignation or retirement will not cause the dismissal of
the criminal or administrative proceedings against him.
Also, when petitioner resigned on January 20, 2001, there were cases filed against him before the Ombudsman but they
were not technically pending as the Ombudsman lacked jurisdiction to act on them. The Ombudsman refrained from
conducting the preliminary investigation for the reason that as the sitting President then, petitioner was immune from suit.
Section 12 of RA No. 3019 cannot therefore be invoked.
Petitioner contends that the impeachment proceeding is an administrative investigation that, under section 12 of RA 3019,
bars him from resigning. However, the exact nature of an impeachment proceeding is debatable. Even assuming that it is
an administrative proceeding, it can not be considered pending at the time petitioner resigned because the process
already broke down when a majority of the senator-judges voted against the opening of the second envelope, the public
and private prosecutors walked out, the public prosecutors filed their Manifestation of Withdrawal of Appearance, and the
proceedings were postponed indefinitely. There was, in effect, no impeachment case pending against petitioner when he
resigned.
HEARSAY ISSUES/ HOLDING IN THE APRIL RESOLUTION:
In G.R. No. 146738, petitioner raises and argues the following issues:

1. Whether the angara diary is inadmissible for being violative of the following rules on evidence: hearsay, best
evidence, authentication, admissions and res inter alios acta2. Whether reliance on newspaper acounts is violative of the hearsay rule-NO
RATIO:
1. SC: We used the Angara Diary to decipher the intent to resign on the part of the petitioner. Let it be
emphasized that it is not unusual for courts to distill a persons subjective intent from the evidence before
them. Everyday, courts ascertain intent in criminal cases, in civil law cases involving last wills and
testaments, in commercial cases involving contracts and in other similar cases. As will be discussed below,
the use of the Angara Diary is not prohibited by the hearsay rule. Petitioner may disagree with some of the
inferences arrived at by the Court from the facts narrated in the Diary but that does not make the Diary
inadmissible as evidence.
The Angara diary is not an out of court statement. The Angara Diary is part of the pleadings in the cases at bar
.Petitioner cannot complain he was not furnished a copy of the Angara Diary. Nor can he feign surprise on its use. To be
sure, the said Diary was frequently referred to by the parties in their pleadings. The three parts of the Diary published in
the PDI from February 4-6, 2001 were attached as Annexes A-C, respectively, of the Memorandum of private respondents
Romeo T. Capulong, et al., dated February 20, 2001. The second and third parts of the Diary were earlier also attached as
Annexes 12 and 13 of the Comment of private respondents Capulong, et al., dated February 12, 2001. In fact, petitioner
even cited in his Second Supplemental Reply Memorandum both the second part of the diary, published on February 5,
2001,and the third part, published on February 6, 2001.It was also extensively used by Secretary of Justice Hernando
Perez in his oral arguments. Thus, petitioner had all the opportunity to contest the use of the Diary but unfortunately failed
to do so.
Even assuming arguendo that the Angara Diary was an out of court statement, still its use is not covered bythe
hearsay rule. Evidence is called hearsay when its probative force depends, in whole or in part, on the competency and
credibility of some persons other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce it.There are three reasons for excluding
hearsay evidence: (1) absence of cross examination; (2) absence of demeanor evidence, and (3) absence of the oath.
Not at all hearsay evidence, however, is inadmissible as evidence. Over the years, a huge body of hearsay evidence has
been admitted by courts due to their relevance, trustworthiness and necessity.
The emergence of these exceptions and their wide spread acceptance is well-explained by Weinstein, Mansfield, Abrams
and Berger as follows: Indeed, the decided historical trend has been to exclude categories of highly probative
statements from the definition of hearsay (sections 2 and 3, infra), and to develop more class exceptions to the
hearsay rule (sections 4-11, infra). Furthermore, many states have added to their rules the residual, or catch-all,
exceptions first pioneered by the Federal Rules which authorize the admission of hearsay that does not satisfy a
class exception, provided it is adequately trustworthy and probative.
A more circumspect examination of our rules of exclusion will show that they do not cover admissions of a party
and the Angara Diary belongs to this class. Section 26 of Rule 130 provides that the act, declaration or omission of a
party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him. It has long been settled that these admissions are
admissible even if they are hearsay.
The rules of exclusion dont cover admissions of a party such as the Angara Diary. These admissions were admissible
even if assuming arguendo, they are hearsay because:

The diary contained direct statements of Erap which could be categorized as admissions of a party

It class under the doctrine of adoptive admission, where a partys reaction to a statement or action by another
person when it is reasonable to treat the partys reaction as an admission of something stated or implied by the
other person

It didnt violate RIAA since it admitted the exception of admissions by a co-partner or agent (Angara was the Exec
Sec)

Ban on hearsay evidence didnt cover independently relevant statement which are relevant independent of WON
they are true or not. This has 2 classes: 1) statements which are the very facts in issue, 2) statements which are
circumstantial evidence of the facts in issue

2. Petitioner insists he is the victim of prejudicial publicity. Among others, he assails the Decision for adverting to
newspaper accounts of the events and occurrences to reach the conclusion that he has resigned. In our Decision, we
used the totality test to arrive at the conclusion that petitioner has resigned. We referred to and analyzed events that
were prior, contemporaneous and posterior to the oath-taking of respondent Arroyo as president. (Aka what Chavit
said, all the public officials resigning, impeachment tiral, etc.) All these events are facts which are wellestablished and cannot be refuted
All these prior events are facts which are within judicial notice by this Court. There was no need to cite their
news accounts. The reference by the Court to certain newspapers reporting them as they happened does not
make them inadmissible evidence for being hearsay. The news account only buttressed these facts as
facts. For all his loud protestations, petitioner has not singled out any of these facts as false.